Since I was a kid, I’ve had a wild fascination with train sets, models and miniatures. When I saw this mini documentary about the work of Michael Paul Smith and his incredible creation of a 1/24th scale midcentury American town called Elgin Park, I don’t think I blinked or breathed for nine minutes straight.

Produced by Animal, the video is a companion to a forthcoming book on Smith’s work called Elgin Park. Not only is the work absolutely thrilling, but Smith’s story is truly inspirational. Brutally bullied for being “different” as a kid, Smith tumbled into one tedious job after another and a few suicide attempts until he discovered model making. It saved him. The result is a body of work and a narrative that has delighted countless fans, including me.

Enjoy Elgin Park, where “the keys are in the car, there’s a full tank of gas and the food is good at the diner.”

Look at Smith’s work on Flickr.
Pre-order Elgin Park from Animal Media Group.


  1. Two things: My step-grandfather had a T-Bird exactly like the one in the opening shot. Same year, same color. It sat in a barn in his backyard, in perfect condition to my young eyes, but I never knew him to crank it.

    And I’d like a Tucker model, please.

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